cost of living

Cuts to public services are making life harder for ordinary Western Australians already struggling with higher utility bills.

Electricity costs are up 62% since the Barnett Government came to office and water costs have increased by 53% over the same period.

Rents for homes and units have risen 10 times the national average and are up in Perth by 15.4% in the past year alone.

Rising essential costs of living in WA since 2008:


* Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Consumer Price Index
**Source: WA Treasury Department, 2012-13 Budget Paper

The State Government is responsible for setting utility prices and for undertaking proper planning to ensure housing affordability.

Premier Barnett has made bad decisions that have placed many Western Australians under considerable financial stress.

With families already under pressure, the State Government has made matters worse by under-funding and privatising services that Western Australians depend on including:

  • Under-funding of dental services. Waiting times for public dental clinics have blown out to 2½ years in some areas with the wait list increasing by almost 150% since the Barnett Government came to power.

  • Privatisation resulting in fewer health services. The Midland Health Campus has been privatised by the Barnett Government and as a result there will be no services for contraception, pregnancy termination or sterilisation procedures.

  • Undermining regional education.  Changes to teaching arrangements are making it harder to attract and retain teachers, particularly in regional areas. A recent WA Auditor General’s report into Independent Public Schools indicated that ‘flow-on effect will be to make vacancies in remote schools less attractive and harder to fill’ (p.25).

With Premier Barnett’s cost of living increases and bad decisions putting WA families under increasing pressure, people need to know that they can rely on our public services.

Instead of investing in services for the benefit of the community, the State Government has been making life even harder for Western Australians by undermining important services including health and education.